I had been unpacking boxes and moving things around during the Holiday break. I had also been spending a lot of time writing curriculum for my next Teleseminar, sitting in front of the computer and catching up with emails. Our daughter had started to feel ignored and as any 8 year-old girl she decided to use the technique she has discovered works best when mom is frazzled: guilt!
The dog needed to go out to play and she wanted me to go with her. I explained that I was in the middle of working and couldn't stop. She put her arms on her hips (a common pose these days) and looked me straight in the face and said: You like that computer more than you like me!
What a great opportunity for me, the parent coach, the trained professional to have recognized that her sassiness was a call for one-on-one time more than an act of defiance. Guess what? I failed the test! I turned around and gave her a harsh look and a scolding answer , which guaranteed me the proverbial answer : You are a meanie! as she went crying to her room.
I was sooo mad at her for having the audacity to interrupt my moment of inspiration!
I don't need to tell you that exactly 30 seconds after that thought crossed my mind, I went into full mommy-guilt mode. I apologized to her and at first she didn't accept my apology. I knew I had blown it and my husband had watched it all without saying a word. I don't mind messing up as long as it is in private: that's much easier to do. But I had a witness! I allowed our daughter to have her space to be mad at me and later we ended up making up. That's one of the beautiful things about young children: their innate ability to forgive and move on!
Do you remember a time when you were "less" than your ideal parent? What did you do about it? I sure would love to know!